Bears Look For Crowd Inspiration Against Royals

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Varun ChopraWarwickshire resume their Friends Life T20 campaign on Friday afternoon with the visit of Worcestershire to Edgbaston. Following a free ticket initiative run by the two clubs, the event is a sell-out, meaning there will be a crowd of over 25,000 packed into Edgbaston to watch the first meeting between the two rivals of the season.

Warwickshire (4/6 To Beat Worcestershire) come into the match off the back of a single defeat against Somerset in Taunton. That result was due largely to a half century from Somerset new boy Richard Levi and career-best bowling figures of 4-16 from Max Waller. Somerset were put into bat first, setting Warwickshire a target of 192, in part down to some costly bowling from the Bears, a target that despite a bright start from Varun Chopra and Laurie Evans and a late surge from Richard Johnson and Steffan Piolet (33/1 Top Warwickshire Bat), was insurmountable. Ashley Giles has sided with youth once more, including Johnson and Evans in the line-up for this match.

Worcestershire (6/5 To Beat Warwickshire) meanwhile are untried this season in the t20 tournament, and director of cricket Steve Rhodes is expected to hand youngster Brett D'Oliveira the chance to make his mark for the Royals. Second XI regulars Nick Harrison and Neil Pinner are also in the squad, and Rhodes commented on the inclusion of the younger members of the Royals' squad: "Sometimes younger legs help with the fielding and Brett is a very good example. He's a good fielder and he can bowl and bat so that suits the all-rounder for Twenty20. He will play."

The main hinderance for Worcestershire (11/8 Most Sixes) could be the absence of Sohail Tanvir, called into the Pakistan ODI squad to play Sri Lanka and consequently out of action for the first two games of the Pears' campaign. However, Rhodes is confident the value of beating their rivals should be enough to carry his players over the line, saying: "I am sure the Roses battles were intense but to play against Warwickshire and beat them is an achievement. It will be our goal but it's the same for them."


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